After having to cancel all of 2020 due to Covid, it had been more than a year since HAPL was able to resume its in person programming. Due to the pandemic and the affects it had on our industry, it was especially challenging to find sponsorship and meet registration goals for the 2021 Gala, which resulted in deadlines having to be pushed to the final hours before the event. Overall, we ended up with an impressive turnout of 85 total registrants, which was on par with previous years, and even more special as 17 of those in attendance were HAPL Past Presidents.
Like previous years, the Gala was held at The Bell Tower on 34th. Many were running late and the cocktail hour was extended to allow time for people to arrive but caused the programming to be pushed back a total of 45 minutes. However, it was a lovely day and people were enjoying conversation, cocktails, and fruit & cheese outdoors in the breezeway and we ended up having a wonderful dinner and awards ceremony.
Randi Walsh chaired the event with great assistance from Christine Touchstone, Allyson Johnstone, Michelle Llanes, and support of Lindsey Griffith and Diane Snyder.
With a heartfelt introduction, Allyson Howard took the stage with a beautiful prayer, and introduced the “Outstanding Senior Landman of the Year”, Alan Morgan. This was followed by the 2020 President, Eli Huffman, introducing the current president, Eric Thomas, who gave a wonderful message of the past year’s accomplishments, despite all the challenges, promoting the message of the ‘Power of Community.’ Alan Morgan received a standing ovation and invited his wife Betsy to join him on stage, as he reflected on many great memories over the years with HAPL and took a few moments to individually recognized each of the past presidents in attendance. Diane Snyder was able to surprise Lindsey Griffith with a 10-year HAPL anniversary award, as well as presenting Eli, Eric, and Alan with their gifts. The programing was concluded with Eli passing the gavel to Eric, and Eric passing the gavel to Wade Edington, incoming HAPL President, which closed out the evening beautifully.
It was truly an honor to bring this event together and it would not have been successful without the help of our ODCC, generous Sponsors, and participation of our members and past presidents. We are so very appreciative to all for the support and the success of the 32nd Annual Gala!